Table of Contents

Article 1.  Name        3

Article 2.  Vision, Mission, and Values        3

Article 3: Membership        4

Article 4.  Governance        5

4.1        Roles        5

4.2        Terms of Office        5

4.3        Role Descriptions        6

Article 5. Roles and Responsibilities: Executive Members and Directors        6

5.1 Founder        6

Article 6.  Finances        7

6.1 Managing Grant Monies        7

Article 7.  Executive Operations        7

Article 8. Changes to the Constitution and Bylaws        8


Bylaw 1.  Registration for Workshops        9

Bylaw 2.  Show Procedures        9

Bylaw 3.  Responsibilities of Special Volunteers        10

B3.1 Shows Team        10

B3.2 Key Grip        10

B3.3 Interns, Co-op Students, High School Volunteers        10


President        12

Vice-President        12

Secretary        13

Treasurer        13

Director Roles        13

Registrar        13

Show/Sales Director        14

Programs Director        14

Media and Communications Director        15

Membership Director        16

Student Volunteers Coordinator        16




Constitution of

The Markham Group of Artists




The Markham Group of Artists (MGA) is a vibrant community of artists that has been collaborating in the Markham area since 1981. Founded by Pat Wheeler as a not-for-profit organization in 1981, MGA was incorporated on April 16, 2012. MGA includes visual artists from beginners to professionals, who work in a variety of media and styles.


MGA welcomes all visual artists, and currently has a membership consisting of 70 artists, the majority of whom reside in the City of Markham. MGA offers an array of workshops and lectures by accomplished artists and stages a variety of juried and non-juried shows in the community on an annual basis. MGA actively works to increase its members and adds new activities that will offer members with opportunities to learn and expose their artwork to the public. MGA holds yearly juried shows at the McKay Art Centre of Unionville and collaborates with the City of Markham community, such as participating in public art projects, and, on occasion, collaborating with the Varley Art Gallery.


Article 1.  Name


The name of the group is The Markham Group of Artists (MGA).


Article 2.  Vision, Mission, and Values


Our Vision


A vibrant community of artists creating, learning, and growing together; enriching local culture and connecting with the world.





Our Mission

To provide opportunities for MGA members to improve and grow their artistic talent by:

  • recognizing and encouraging excellence in visual art through granting of awards and distinctions,
  • energizing artistic creativity through a supportive network of artists,
  • providing opportunities for exposure of members’ artwork through shows, digital media and public art,
  • engaging with the community by making available our resources and expertise,
  • fostering partnerships with other organizations, and
  • promoting a better understanding and appreciation of the visual arts.


Our Values


MGA recognizes the importance of ethical conduct and commits to:

  • conduct itself with the highest level of integrity and fairness;
  • offer fair and equitable access to MGA art shows, sales, events, and projects; and
  • engage respectfully with artists of all backgrounds and beliefs.

Article 3: Membership


  1. The Markham Group of Artists is a non-profit organization operated entirely by its members.
  1. Membership is open to all people interested in visual art and who wish to develop their artistic skills. They do not have to be residents of Markham.
  1. Every member must be registered and have paid their membership dues in order to participate in most MGA activities. However, workshops and special events are open to non-members.
  1. Members are encouraged to volunteer their time and talent to help maintain the functioning of the group.
  1. The membership list of names, addresses and phone numbers is the property of the MGA and cannot be released or sold to individuals or organizations without the authority of the Executive Committee.


Article 4.  Governance


The MGA is operated by volunteer members. Upon registration, new members are to be encouraged to enlist for volunteerism with the group. A note stating such is to be included in the Welcome message to all new members.



The MGA shall be governed by an executive committee consisting of the following members:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Past President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Member Leads
  • Registrar and Membership Director
  • Programs Director
  • Show/Sales Director
  • Media and Communications Director
  • Student Volunteer Coordinator


Coordinators Reporting to the Media and Communications Director:

  • Newsletter/Email Coordinator
  • Publicity Coordinator
  • Website Manager
  • Social Media Student Volunteers

Terms of Office


  1. The term of office for the President and Vice President shall be two years. No President or Vice President shall hold office for more than three terms.
  2. All other Executive and volunteer positions shall be for the term of two years.
  3. The term of office begins January 1 and ends December 31.
  4. The New Executive is elected at the December General Meeting. Nominations are made by November prior to the election.
  5. Current presidents will be exempt from paying a membership fee during their term of office. Past Presidents prior to 2005 are exempt from paying membership dues.
  6. Serving members of the MGA executive are entitled to have the fees waived for one workshop during each calendar year they serve. This will apply only when workshop expenses have been covered by paid registrations.
  7. Each Executive member may appoint necessary committee members to assist fulfilling the committee functions.  

Role Descriptions


  1. Role descriptions for each of the executive members and coordinators shall provide an outline of responsibilities. Role descriptions shall be considered as addended Bylaws to this Constitution.
  2. Descriptions are included in this document in Appendix A.
  3. Role descriptions will be revised as required.


Article 5. Roles and Responsibilities: Executive Members and Directors


  1. It shall be the responsibility of the MGA Executive Committee to maintain a full complement of officers for the smooth running of the group.
  2. The Executive Committee members are appointed first according to interest and skills, and second, following an election process.  
  3. Responsibilities of the Executive Committee members, directors, and coordinators are outlined in role descriptions found in Appendix A.

 5.1 Founder


Pat Wheeler is the Founder of The Markham Group of Artists and is the only individual that can occupy this position.


Article 6.  Finances


  1. Three (3) designated signing officers must be appointed and active and two (2) signatures must be on each cheque.
  1. The financial records of the MGA will be audited if requested by a majority vote of the membership. The annual financial records shall be presented and approved by the Executive Committee and membership at the Annual General Meeting.
  1. All members of the MGA will pay a membership fee except for the current president and past presidents prior to 2005. The Executive Committee will annually review and set the membership fee paid by each member.
  1. MGA activities should be planned to be self-funding. 
  1. All fees will be reviewed periodically.
  1. The MGA may make donations as assessed and agreed upon annually by the Executive Committee.
  1. All new expenditure approvals over $500 should be in the form of a motion passed by the Executive Committee; routine expenditures will be approved by the Finance Team, consisting of the Directors, President, and Treasurer.


6.1 Managing Grant Monies


In the event the MGA is awarded grants, MGA will use the grant money for projects specified in the grant applications. Approval of the Executive Committee is required prior to committing to all disbursements. MGA will follow disbursement practices described in Article 6: Finances. Required follow up and/or completion reports will be completed by the president and/or vice president with assistance of the treasurer.

Article 7.  Executive Operations


  1. The Executive Committee will hold a meeting on a monthly basis, at the call of the president or of any two members of the Executive Committee. A quorum of the Executive Committee will be a simple majority.
  1. Two general meetings of the membership will be held, one in December and one in May at the call of the Executive Committee or any 25 members of the group. Only paid-up members of the MGA may vote on issues at the general meetings. A quorum for a general meeting will be 25 members.
  2. Only issues submitted in advance and agreed to by the Executive Committee will be discussed at general meetings
  1. The President, with the assistance of the Vice President, will advise Executive committee members of meetings, prepare an agenda, and request any additional items to be added to the agenda.
  1. The Executive Committee will conduct the business of the organization online or face-to-face between meetings. Motions could be presented and passed in meetings or online.  An on-line quorum is also a simple majority.


Article 8. Changes to the Constitution and Bylaws


  1. Proposed changes to Articles of the Constitution must first be presented and passed by the Executive Committee. A summary of these changes must be communicated to members at least 14 days before being presented at a General Meeting.
  2. Changes to the Articles of the Constitution require a 60% vote of a quorum at a General Meeting.


  1. Changes to Bylaws and Role Descriptions can be made with the approval of the Executive.


The original Constitution was prepared on March 4, 1998.

Current Revision: March 25, 2021.



Bylaw 1.  Registration for Workshops

  1. Members will register themselves for workshops online. Members who are unable to do this will be assisted by the Programs Director or the Website Manager. 
  1. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
  1. Members will be waitlisted if the workshop is fully booked and notified by the system if a seat becomes available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  1. Members who are registered in a course and wish to cancel are required to notify the Programs Director.
  1. If the MGA cancels a workshop, registrants will receive a full refund.
  1. If a member cancels their registration, they will receive a full refund only if
  1. they cancel at any time up to 7 days prior to the workshop start, or
  2. they cancel later than 7 days prior to a workshop start, and someone on the waiting list buys their seat.  
  1. The attendees will be reconciled against the list of enrollees.



Bylaw 2.  Show Procedures


  1. Registration for shows is done online by members.  Members who are unable to do this will be assisted by the Show/Sales Director or a member of the show team or the Website Manager. 
  1. Entry requirements and eligibility will be documented in the Juried Show Policies.
  1. A juror’s decision on which works will be accepted into an MGA juried show and on awards is final.
  1. Members presenting works for the MGA shows are expected to volunteer to help with the administration of the show.  The positions, scheduling, and volunteers will be published on the website and communicated via email. The exception to this is for online shows, which requires the assistance of the social media coordinator only.
  1. For gallery shows, the MGA collects payments from sales and pays the artist, less a commission.
  2. Gallery shows, in addition to being published on our website, will be posted on social media.

Bylaw 3.  Responsibilities of Special Volunteers

While many members volunteer their time on an occasional basis, Special Volunteers serve the group on an ongoing basis or on major activities that require significant time. These volunteers may be MGA members or engaged through high schools, colleges, or universities. Special MGA member volunteers are acknowledged on the website for their contribution.


B3.1 Shows Team

The Shows Team assists the Shows/Sales Director to stage shows.  Activities include:

  • Selecting a theme for the show
  • Locating a venue and booking it
  • Setting up the show registration on the website
  • Monitoring registrations
  • Assisting members to register
  • Producing lists of entries
  • Producing labels
  • Establishing the volunteer requirements and plan
  • Preparing award certificates
  • Entering contacts from the guest book to our email database
  • Following up on contacts for future shows, potential sales, and membership


B3.2 Key Grip

The Key Grip stores and manages equipment owned by the MGA.  Duties include:

  • Safeguarding the equipment and materials
  • Maintaining an inventory of MGA possessions on the website
  • Ensuring that borrowed materials are returned

B3.3 Interns, Co-op Students, High School Volunteers


Occasionally, MGA will engage interns and co-op students to assist with tasks requiring specialized knowledge and skills. Our interns and co-op students will fill unsalaried roles and may not be hired to do contract work, or work that would normally be paid. MGA will endeavor to offer an honorarium at the end of the work term.  When possible, high school students will be engaged to complete volunteer hours.





The President is key in creating and sustaining the vision, mission, and values for the evolution of MGA and in providing leadership in the management, development, and advancement of this not-for-profit group.


Responsibilities include:

  • Networking with local artist councils, groups, and independent art organizations with the goal of generating new members and opportunities for existing members
  • Identifying potential funding sources for art projects, exhibitions, juried shows, and other member opportunities
  • Locating local opportunities for members to market their work
  • Chairing meetings, but may periodically designate another member of the Executive to assume this duty
  • Updating the Executive members on activities and opportunities
  • Storing confidential login and password information


The responsibilities of the Vice-President consist largely of supporting the President’s efforts in advancing MGA.




  • Collaborating with the president on creating and sustaining the MGA vision, mission, and values
  • Assisting in the management, development, and advancement of MGA goals
  • Creating initiatives that build upon the networking, funding, and marketing opportunities identified by the President
  • Performing the responsibilities of the President in the President’s absence
  • Liaising with the executive and the membership


The Secretary will attend Executive meetings and will prepare minutes for all Executive and Annual General Meetings and will forward the minutes to the website manager for posting.



The Treasurer manages the finances of our group, both income and expenses:


  • Receiving, depositing, and recording all cheques and cash
  • Recording payments against invoices on the website
  • Issuing cheques and securing a second authorization signature
  • Maintaining records of all receipts and expenditures
  • Reporting financial status at each Executive meeting and all General Meetings 
  • Issuing member refunds as required and updating the invoices appropriately
  • Managing the accounts receivable
  • Reconciling the bank statement to the website invoices and credit card processor reports
  • Creating annual financial statements 
  • Managing insurance 

Director Roles




The Registrar inducts new members into the group and maintains the member database on the website. Responsibilities of the Registrar include:


  • Monitoring the registration page for new members and renewals
  • Registering members who have no Internet access
  • Assisting members with website log-in as required
  • Keeping track of renewal and non-renewal of membership
  • Creating the annual membership list
  • Sending to new members the welcome letter, membership card, and instructions for uploading images to the inventory
  • Obtaining the members’ website address and adding to the members’ rosters

Show/Sales Director


The Show/Sales Director is responsible for working with the show team in the scheduling and execution of group shows. The Annual Juried Show historically occurs in May at the McKay Art Centre; non-juried show in the fall occur at an available venue.



  • Setting dates and securing locations for juried and non-juried shows
  • Working with the Show Team and Communications Director to decide on show titles, theme, etc.
  • Finding/hiring an impartial juror for the shows; coordinating with the juror
  • Organizing shows: set up and tear down schedules, hosting schedules
  • Working with the Communications Director to create a communications plan for the show: call to artists, advertising collateral, signage, social media messaging, etc.

Programs Director


The Programs Director is responsible for coordinating with the Programs team in the scheduling and execution of programming for MGA. Such programming may include but is not limited to demonstrations, art talks, workshops, and other group activities.


  • Planning a balanced program for the given season
  • Contacting artists, securing dates, booking the venues, and negotiating fees
  • Establishing the member and non-member fees for workshops (dependent on cost of venue + instructor fee) 
  • Gathering descriptions of presentations from the artists, images of the artists and their work and biographical information for introductions 
  • Providing event and activities descriptions to the Communications Director for website and social media posting in time to meet deadlines
  • Monitoring enrollments
  • Cancelling workshops when enrollments are not sufficient and communicating this to enrollees
  • Providing the Treasurer with a list costs, including artist and room booking fees
  • Conducting feedback surveys

Media and Communications Director


The Media and Communications Director is key in sustaining the MGA community through the sharing of information and for enabling outreach to the Markham community and beyond. The Media and Communications Director plans communications and coordinates with the Communications Team and the Executive Committee. The Director ensures that the communication of information of interest to members and the arts community at large is done in a timely fashion through approved channels and according to the guidelines provided by the Executive.


  • Coaching and supervising student volunteers on posting on social media and creating video clips
  • Using data analytics to plan MGA communications and campaigns
  • Facilitating the creation of surveys and sharing results
  • Creating communications plans for MGA events: advertising, website updates, social media messaging
  • Creating advertising copy for larger MGA events: signage, etc.
  • Communicating information about costs to the Treasurer prior to making expenditures
  • Sharing hosting responsibilities for the MGA online community (e.g., ZOOM chats)
  • Coordinating with the Communications Team, consisting of:


  • Newsletter/Email Coordinator: responsible for creating the monthly Communique newsletter and for sending timely messages to the membership regarding events and other group business
  • Publicity Coordinator: responsible for publicizing MGA activities to the Markham community and beyond when appropriate; for sending weekly (as required) updates for the Don Hamilton Newsletter; for creating press releases and sending them to publications
  • Social Media Coordinator: maintain our social media platforms, posting notices of group events in a timely manner, posting on a daily basis images of artwork in our shows, monitoring the Facebook Forum twice weekly
  • Website Manager: responsible for updating content on the website in a timely manner, educating members on how to use the members’ portal, uploading the minutes to the website, communicating with Dave Achtemchuck, the Website Administrator, regarding upgrades, functionality, and other website matters

Membership Director


The Members Director position covers a variety of activities to maintain the social health of the group. Activities include:

  • Welcoming new members and sending information regarding membership.
  • Sending out cards to MGA members who are ill, in hospital, or have had bereavement in the family.
  • Facilitating ways to make each member of the MGA feel welcomed by the group at meetings and at workshops.
  • Keeping track of renewal and non-renewal of membership; reminder emails to non-renewing members.
  • Create an implement plan to recruit members and prospective member in cooperation with other Leadership Team members.
  • Actively recruit new members, and contribute to communications pieces focused on member recruitment.
  • Build and coordinate distribution of prospective members survey to determine needs and interests.
  • Develop and implement a plan to recognize member milestones (such as professional achievements, anniversaries, and awards).
  • Support communication of member benefits and ensure members take advantage of them.
  • Create member surveys as needed: satisfaction, interest.
  • Coordinate social events or programming including the December Annual General Meetings and the May luncheon


Student Volunteers Coordinator


The Volunteers Coordinator ensures that we have student volunteers on hand to fulfill tasks that assist our Executive, Directors, Coordinators, and Managers. Student volunteers are engaged through the Markham Teen Arts Council (MTAC) and through high school guidance offices. Unionville High School has an Arts program that should be approached if MTAC volunteers are unavailable.


High school volunteers are to be offered “volunteer hours,” which contribute to their 40 hours commitment through the Ministry of Education. When the hours have been completed either the President, Vice-President, or the Volunteers Coordinator will sign for the hours. They may also write letters of recommendation upon request. When children of members are engaged, volunteering forms and letters will be completed by persons other than the family member.